Message in a Bottle

I want to cast off,

roll the tiny yellow scrap

and slip it into the amber


apothecary bottle once

dredged from the Kaw

now so full of westering suns.


Return the both of them

to where voices yet echo

from lost sailors, dreamers


who succumbed to watery graves

where reefs undulate as corals

breathe and mighty rays bear

the unseen upon their backs.


How we’ll bob above the waves

for I’ll put myself into it, and pull

the cork in after, tuck in a bit of fern


pillow the bottom with a miniature

rosette of Hen & Chicks that

once shared the window sill.


Together, we’ll ride the mighty Missouri

into the Mississippi, sail past the oil

rigs of the Gulf, rocking toward beyond.


Oh, the yellow scrap I’ll leave blank

so that time might etch her peculiar message.